Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Norie Sato (Seattle) is an artist whose artwork for public places over the past 25 years has incorporated individual, collaborative, design team and planning of public art projects. Much of her work involves collaboration with architects and integration with the site or context. She works from site and context-driven ideas first, then finds the appropriate form and materials. She strives to add meaning and human touch to the built environment and to consider edges, transitions, culture and connections to the environment. Norie‘s current and past work encompasses transit/transportation facilities, airports, libraries, universities, infrastructure, parks, and other civic structures. She works in sculpture, glass, terrazzo floors, integrated design work, landscape, video and light. In her studio work, she includes large works on paper and printmaking to the list of media. She has been active in the Seattle art scene since the 70s, when she was involved with and/or, an artist-run space, and as a commissioner on the Seattle Arts Commission in the nascent days of Seattle’s public art program. In addition, her own work in video, glass and on paper has been exhibited at galleries and museums around the country.

Her public art work has been recognized five times by the Public Art Network’s Year in Review. Recently, she produced a 300 ft. long glass façade for the San Francisco International Airport, artwork for University of Iowa and Iowa State University, and the new Port of Portland Headquarters. She has made work for the Arabian Library and McDowell Mountain Ranch Aquatic Center, both in Scottsdale AZ, and Miami International Airport. She was lead artist for Sound Transit’s Seattle Central Link Light Rail and has worked on transit systems in Portland, Salt Lake City and Tempe, Arizona. She was a member of the Seattle Design Commission which reviews city capital projects within the city of Seattle and is a former council member of the Public Art Network, a national organization focused on public art. 

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.
From the Artist

I am truly honored to have been selected to receive this award. I have been working from a Seattle base since moving here in 1972 and it has greatly affected how I work and what I do. There is nothing more wonderful than to receive acknowledgement for one’s ongoing artwork and this has come at an especially important time for me. In 2011, my studio building where I had been for over 30 years was condemned. Since then, my “studio” has been in storage and I have worked in-between spaces that belong to other artists, fabricators or printmakers, my computer, and my dining room or basement, but without a real studio base. I am now building a new studio where I can finally bring my things out of storage and begin working again. The process has been slow and expensive, so this award will greatly help me finish the studio so I can move in. The spaces where one works inspire, limit, or allow the type and scale of work we do. The spaces affect how we conceptualize, imagine, invent and make. My new space is much smaller and of a completely different character than the one I left, so the way I worked before will not necessarily be possible in the new place. Even after developing a lifetime of habits, ways of working, thinking and doing, we are still susceptible and open to change in unpredictable directions. So this is a moment of great transition in my work life and the award is a great lift and boost in many incalculable ways that will affect me for quite a while.

Norie Sato